[CWG-Stewardship] drift in v5

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Jun 11 18:38:55 UTC 2015

If it helps, it might be easier to view IETF as an Standards Development Organization and "the IANA" (initially (in the early '70s) with Jon Postel as the  sole "numbers czar" then later, more formalized and having multiple full-time staff) as its secretariat.

MM: Yes. That may be a better, more accessible way of putting it. But the critical point in this TM-related dispute is who is responsible for the basic identity of "the IANA" - who defines what it is and what its role is in Internet coordination? I think it's more appropriate for IETF, as the developer of the standards for names, numbers and protocols, to be that. The whole concept of an IANA emerges from IETF standards development and from IETF RFCs.

and my understanding (which is undoubtedly wrong) was that ICANN was created in order (among other things) to provide a legal entity for the IANA functions.

MM: Partly true. ICANN was created to solve the problem of domain name trademark disputes and to make policy for new gTLDs as well as to provide IANA functions; the problem was that those "other things" (namely, DNS policy development) took over the game. ICANN isn't anything like what Postel thought it was going to be in 1998.

Going forward the basic paradigm is that each operational community has a severable contract with an IFO for its own registries. Right now all 3 of them will use PTI but anyone of them could change that in the future. It makes no sense for either the numbers or the names policy making entities to control the broader IANA mark/domain. It only makes sense for the higher-level entity, the IETF standards trust, to do so, given that IANA spans names, numbers and protocols.

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